A graduation speech should motivate, inspire and leave a lasting impression


A graduation speech should motivate, inspire and leave a lasting impression. Whether you are a guest speaker, a valedictorian or an alumnus that is your challenge.

A graduation day, is after all, the start of the rest of the graduate’s life. They may go on to more study. They may take a year off to travel the world or they may start work. Whatever they do graduation day is a day for a fresh start and new ideas. It is tempting to talk about the world of finance for instance if graduates have studied business.

However, it is worth remembering that they are far more than just business graduates. They are citizens too. Perhaps your message should be about the debt they owe society for their education. Maybe you should encourage them to repay that debt in some way. Certainly you should tell them to thank their tutors and their parents for their guidance.

Graduates, of course, are people with individual ideas and aspirations. In your speech you can kindle the flame of enthusiasm for being part of the big wide world rather than just one big company. You can stress the needs of the third world or the damage being done to their environment. Stress the word THEIR environment because too often those who actually put bottles in the bottle bank feel that is all that is needed to save the planet. Get them to imagine a world without trees or clear water. Remind them that the smallest ideas can bring about the biggest changes. Take a zipper for instance and how many are used every day. Encourage them to discuss and debate current trends even when they have left college. They have, of course, spent years studying for their examinations so today is a day when they relax and are happy. So make your speech light-hearted as you mention the social events that will follow the ceremony.

Every graduate is unique with different skills and talents. End your speech by asking them just how they are going to use those talents for others as well as themselves.

Want to see more? Click here for hundreds of sample graduation speeches!

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